Breaking News: St. Paul hires former Carson coach Elijah Asante to succeed Marijon Ancich as its next football coach

St. Paul High School said goodbye to a coaching legend when Marijon Ancich retired at the end of the recent football season, and it will welcome a new era with one of the up-and-coming coaches in Southern California.
The Santa Fe Springs school announced that it has hired Elijah Asante, who recently resigned after two seasons at City Section power Carson, as its next football coach.
Asante comes to St. Paul with one of the better resumes in California, coaching the past seven years in the Los Angeles City Section, first at Los Angeles Jordan and the past two at Carson, which advanced to the Division I finals each of the past two seasons.
“I’m very excited about the opportunity to coach this tradition-rich program,” Asante said. “I’m taking over for a coaching legend, who I admire and the type of football that St. Paul is known for. I’m excited. The future is bright.”
Asante was 20-9 in two seasons at Carson, taking the Colts to the City Section Division 1 championship game each year, losing 45-7 to Crenshaw in 2010, and 48-32 to Narbonne this fall. The Colts also played one of the tougher schedules in Southern California, opening with a 26-22 victory over Mater Dei before losing to Long Beach Poly (38-18) and Santa Margarita (39-21), which went on to win the CIF-Southern Section Pac-5 title and a Division I CIF state bowl game.
“He’s just has a tremendous track record,” St. Paul athletic director Shawn Clingan said.
Asante is replacing a living legend in Ancich, who ranks second in wins in California with 353 victories, 140 losses and nine ties while serving three different stints as the Swordsmen’s head coach.
Ancich, who turned St. Paul into one of the more recognized programs in Southern California, won three CIF-SS titles (’68,’72,’81), two California State titles and 19 league championships. St. Paul was 7-3 this season, but missed the playoffs for the fourth consecutive season, finishing fourth in the Mission League.
Asante believes that winning tradition can be resurrected.
“It’s a sleeping giant,” Asante said. “And it’s going to be awakened. All the fundamentals are there for them to bring this program back to the way it was. But we have to get everybody excited, from the kids, their parents, the boosters, everybody. We want them to be excited to be a Swordsmen.”
St. Paul, which will return quarterback Paul Telles and offensive lineman Cristian Garcia, two of the better players in the area, will play what is expected to be arguably the top schedules in the area in 2012 with a slate that will feature old rival Bishop Amat, along with area stalwart La Habra. Asante is hoping to add Loyola to the schedule.
Asante also said he is the process of interviewing coaches to complete his staff and installing a weight training program

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Girls Basketball: Bishop Amat has too much for Whittier, 44-39


Above: Bishop Amat’s Kaysee Tayag tries to get around a Whittier defender
during Wednesday’s nonleague game. The Lancers beat the Cardinals, 44-39.
(Keith Birmingham / Staff Photographer)

Whittier High School was hoping to see where it stood among the best girls basketball teams in the CIF-Southern Section when it hosted traditional power Bishop Amat Wednesday. The Cardinals appear just to be a tad off.
Paulina Santana scored 21 points and Leeah Powell had 14 to lead the Lancers to a 44-39 victory over the Cardinals in a nonleague game.
Bishop Amat, which used a 11-2 run in the second quarter, improved to 9-2.
Whittier, getting 12 points each from Yazmin Acosta and Brenda Salazar, slipped to 8-1.
“I think the game was won and lost in the second quarter,” Whittier coach Willie Pittman said. “They held us to two points after it was 12-11 in the first quarter.
“We had to fight back, and although we won the third quarter, we got into foul trouble and that hurt us.”

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All-Olympic League: Abernethy, Bronkar lead Whittier Christian selections

Here’s the All-Olympic League selections. My only question is how did Whittier Christian, which shared the league title with Valley Christian, not get any of the three MVP awards handed out?
Anyways, here’s the list:

FOOTBALL
Offensive MVP:
Amjed Aboul-Hosn, Village Christian, Sr.
Defensive MVP: Matt Hall, Maranatha, So.
Linemen MVP: Clayton Granch, Valley Christian, Jr.
First Team: LeJon Peterson, L.A. Baptist, Sr.; Chris Tripoli, L.A. Baptist, Sr.; Andrew Elffers, Maranatha, Jr.; Matt Hall, Maranatha, So.; Darien McGee, Maranatha, Sr.; Sterling Sanchez, Maranatha, Sr.; Omar Younger, Maranatha, Jr.; Cody Buskirk, Valley Chr., Sr.; Brandon Bynum, Valley Chr., Jr.; David Coley, Valley Chr., Sr.; Clayton Granch, Valley Chr., Jr.; Anthony Nocera, Valley Chr., Sr.; Jaylen Ray, Valley Chr., Sr.; LeWayne Wright, Valley Chr., Sr.; Amjed Aboul-Hosn, Village Chr., Sr.; Nick Hamilton, Village Chr., Jr.; Scott Maxwell, Village Chr., Sr.; Garrett Van, Village Chr., Sr.; Daniel Abernethy, Whittier Chr., Sr.; Cody Bronkar, Whittier Chr., Jr.; Andrew Delaney, Whittier Chr., Sr.; Grant Escobar, Whittier Chr., Sr.; Corey Gineris, Whittier Chr., Sr.; Joel Rhone, Whittier Chr., Sr.; Ryan Wallace, Whittier Chr., Sr.
Second Team: Josh Nguyen, L.A. Baptist, Sr.; Sean Smith, L.A. Baptist, Sr.; Robert Flewelling, Maranatha, Sr.; Adam Harr, Maranatha, Sr.; Matt Payton, Maranatha, Sr.; Daniel Rasmussen, Jr.; Darin Smith, Maranatha, Sr.; Patrick Avila, Valley Chr., Jr.; Zach D’Amico, Valley Chr., Sr.; Clay Thomas, Valley Chr., Sr.; Rodney VanDenBerg, Valley Chr., Jr.; Scott Vander Ploeg, Valley Chr., Sr.; Misha Gordon, Village Chr., Sr.; Eli Jerjerian, Village Chr., Jr.; Luke Rawlings, Village Chr., Jr.; Josh Rolls, Village Chr., Sr.; Daniel Chacon, Whittier Chr., Sr.; Matt Hearn, Whittier Chr., Sr.; Jacob Hughes, Whittier Chr., Jr.; Jack Huitt, Whittier Chr., So.; Ryan Morales, Whittier Chr., Sr.; Grady Smith, Whittier Chr., Sr.

GIRLS VOLLEYBALL
MVP:
Jaden Louie, Whittier Chr., Sr.
First Team: Julianna Gutknecht, L.A. Baptist, Sr.; Lauren Holstein, Maranatha, Jr.; Carley Berkencamp, Valley Chr., Sr.; Maggie Streelman, Valley Chr., So.; Aubrey Pyburn, Village Chr., Jr.; Jaclyn Barrera, Whittier Chr., Sr.; Deanna Blaine, Whittier Chr., So.; Jaden Louie, Whittier Chr., Sr.
Second Team: Mikayla Garcia, L.A. Baptist, Fr.; Skylar McLeod, Maranatha, Jr.; Alexa Chandler, Valley Chr., Sr.; Cassie Palmer, Valley Chr., Sr.; Joyce Cha, Village Chr., Jr.; Chyna Cotangco, Village Chr., Sr.; Kylee Wolfe, Whittier Chr., So.; Ashley Hunter, Whittier Chr., Sr.

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All-Almont League: San Gabriel rakes in the awards

ALL-ALMONT LEAGUE TEAMS
FOOTBALL

MVP — Alex Villalobos, San Gabriel
Offensive MVP – Andy Guerrero, San Gabriel
Defensive MVP — Nathan Quinones, Alhambra
Lineman of the year — Carlos Purser, San Gabriel
Coach of the Year – Jude Olvia, San Gabriel
First Team
Offense —
Quarterback: Josh Mendoza, Alhambra. Backs: Jorge Remingio, Bell Gardens; Erza Broadus, Alhambra; Eric Magos, Schurr; Marcos Portillo, Montebello. Receivers: Joseph Villalobos, San Gabriel; Isai Fernandez, San Gabriel; Jorge Romo, Montebello, Oscar Gayton, Alhambra. Tight End: James Salazar, Bell Gardens. Linemen: Daniel Herrera, Bell Gardens; Joseph Rubino, Montebello; Brian Lopez, San Gabriel; Justin Luu, Alhambra; Gino Livotti, Montebello. Kicker: Ricardo Pena, Bell Gardens.
Defense — Linemen: Daniel Servin, Montebello; Hunter Garcia, San Gabriel; Christian Caraveo, Alhambra; Sean Yee, Schurr. Linebackers: Robert Garcia, Montebello; Chris Aguilar, Schurr; Thomas Guevara, Bell Gardens; Andres Jimenez, San Gabriel. Backs: Joesph Villalobos, San Gabriel; Albert Lara, Bell Gardens; Erza Broadus, Alhambra; Randy Portillo, Montebello; Punter: Juan Hernandez, Montebello.
Second Team
Offense –
Quarterback: Albert Lara, Bell Gardens. Backs: Joseph Mayorga, San Gabriel; Esquivel Jimenez, Mark Keppel. Receivers: Ricky Fonseca, Schurr; Nathan May, Mark Keppel; Gilbert Herrera, Montebello. Tight End: Chirs Tovar, Mark Keppel. Linemen: Omar Gonzalez, San Gabriel; Thomas Richetts, Alhambra; Jaime Medina, Bell Gardens; Jesse Medina, Bell Gardens. Kicker: Edgar Tafoya, Montebello.
Defense – Linemen: Nicholas Solorzano, Bell Gardens; Isaac Sermiento, Montebello; Willie Torres, Schurr; Javier Covarrubias, Alhambra. Linebackers: Eric Alvarez, San Gabriel; Jonathan Bird, Alhambra; Joseph Nieto, Alhambra; Jordan Fowlkes, Montebello. Backs: Jose Aguero, Schurr; Daniel Moviel, Schurr; Omero Eriza, San Gabriel; Aaron Handy, Schurr; Justin Marino, Montebello; Alex Ochoa, Bell Gardens. Punter: Ricky Fonseca, Schurr.

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Twas the Night Before Christmas: All-Area football team to be relieved on Christmas Eve

The 2011 Whittier Daily News football team, which will include a Player of the Year, Offensive Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year, will be published on Christmas Eve. It will include photos of each of the team’s 25 players, list of first and second teams and honorable mention and the final top five rankings, and stories on the player of the year and coach of the year.
Also, due to next week being Rose Bowl week, the All-Area teams for girls volleyball, girls tennis, boys water polo and boys and girls cross country will be released in January.
Here are the dates when those layouts will be published:
Girls Volleyball, Wednesday, Jan. 4
Boys and Girls Cross Country, Thursday, Jan. 5
Boys Water Polo, Tuesday, Jan. 11
Girls Tennis, Wednesday, Jan. 12

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El Rancho’s Rick Zepeda steps down

There will be a lot of new faces on the sidelines when the race for the Del Rio League football title begins next fall.
El Rancho High School coach Rick Zepeda has resigning, leaving only California’s Jim Arnold and La Serna’s Margarito Beltran as the only holdovers from this season.
Pioneer’s Ramon Juarez was relieved of his duties at the end of the season, while Whittier’s Walter Scott resigned. Santa Fe’s Jack Mahlstede had previously announced is retirement.
Zepeda was the latest after the Dons went 5-5 and finished 1-4 in league play, missing the playoffs.
He was 18-24 in four seasons.
“It was a mutual agreement,” Zepeda said Monday. “We both (he and the El Rancho administration) decided to take a different path.
“It wasn’t a bad breakup. We both decided to go in different directions.”
The Dons, who began the season in the area top five, had a solid start, winning four of its first five games, with the only loss coming to CIF-Southern Section Southeast Division quarterfinalist Los Altos. But El Rancho, which was led by first-team All-Del Rio League running back Josh Lopez, lost its first three games in league and finished tied for fifth.
“I enjoyed being the El Rancho football coach,” Zepeda said. “Everyone treated me well. I’m going to to miss the players and their parents. It was fun and I enjoyed it.”
Calls to principal Sam Genis and athletic director Lynn Lawson were not immediately returned.

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All-League Teams: Davis, Mahlstede top Del Rio League selections

ALL-DEL RIO LEAGUE
FOOTBALL
Co-MVPs –
Christian Mahlstede, Santa Fe, Sr; Joe Davis, Santa Fe, Sr.
Offensive Player of the Year – OJ Medina, La Serna, Sr.
Co-Defensive Players of the Year – Craig Jones, La Serna, Sr.; Willie Blauser, Santa Fe, Sr.
Coach of the Year – Jack Mahlstede, Santa Fe
First Team
Offense —
Quarterback: Frankie Palmer, La Serna, So. Backs: Gabriel Lozano, California, Sr.; Lawrence Gomez, California, Sr.; Mark Lopez, El Rancho, Sr.. Receivers: Mackenzie Duarte, La Serna, So.; Benny Suria, Whittier, Jr. Tight End: John McFarland, La Serna, Jr.. Linemen: Mike Encinas, Santa Fe, Sr.; Pedro Huerta, California, Sr.; Alfred Villanueva, El Rancho, Jr.; Isaiah Osorio, La Serna, Jr.; Carlos Tovar, Santa Fe, Jr. Punter: Jordan Rincoln, Santa Fe, Sr. Utility: Josh Lopez, El Rancho, Sr.
Defense — Linemen: Lance Hludzik, California, Sr.; Alfred Villanueva, El Rancho, Jr.; Julio Correa, Santa Fe, Sr.; Mario Bonilla, Santa Fe, Sr; John McFarland, La Serna, Jr.. Romeo Prado, Santa Fe, Sr. Linebackers: Miguel Cardiel, California, Sr.; Adrian Rodriguez, El Rancho, Jr.; Rigo Luquin, Pioneer, Sr.; Dan Galvez, Santa Fe, Jr.. Backs: Mark Lopez, El Rancho, Sr.; Justin Ballesteros, La Serna, Jr.; Sergio Corona, Santa Fe, Sr.; Jerry Garza, Whittier, Jr. Kickers: Eric Amezquita, California, So.; Issac Guzman, Santa Fe, Sr.
Second Team
Offense — Quarterback:
Justin Retiz, Santa Fe, So. Backs: Johnny Garica, El Rancho, Jr.; Tony Botello, Pioneer, Sr.; Aaron Zaragoza, Santa Fe, Sr. Receivers: Ruben Robles, Pioneer, Sr.; Marcos Gomez, Santa Fe, Sr.. Tight End: David Manzano, California, Sr. Linemen: German Ponce, California, Jr.; Lance Hludzik, California, Sr.; Jonathan Bustamante, La Serna, Sr.; Ed Cruz, Santa Fe, Jr.; Eric Mendez, Whittier, Sr. Punters: Tavis Guerra, La Serna, Jr.; Jonathan Ventura, Pioneer; Zack Woxland, Whittier, Sr. Utility: Isaiah Wilson, Santa Fe, Sr.
Defense — Linemen: Isaiah Osorio, La Serna, Jr.; Faris Nesheiwat, La Serna, Sr.; Ricky Boyd, La Serna, Sr.; Alfred Guzman, Whittier, Jr.; Nick Ramirez, California, Sr.; Omar Luna, Whittier, Jr. Linebackers: Nick Gonzales, California, So.; Bryan Sedillo, El Rancho, Sr.; Michael Dingillo, La Serna, Jr.; Johnny Altamirano, Santa Fe, Sr.; Jordan Perez, Whittier, Jr. Backs: Josh Perez, California, Jr.; Lawrence Gomez, California, Sr.; Jerry Huff, El Rancho, Sr.; Tyler Michael, La Serna, Jr.; Patrick Jimenez, Pioneer, Sr. Kicker: Tavis Guerra, La Serna, Jr.
Honorable Mention
Offense — California:
Aaron Garcia, Justin Dankert, Daniel Polanco, Adryan Padilla, David Manzano. El Rancho: Joe Sanchez, Cameron Valencia, Bryan Ortiz, David Maturino. La Serna: Nick McCarty. Pioneer: Anthony Acevedo, Roman Garcia. Whittier: Giovanni Hernandez, Kevin Ramirez, Jonathan Mazon, Matthew Acosta, Paul Acosta, Mark Martinez, Michael Hartnell.
Honorable Mention
Defense –
California: David Manzano, David Escamilla. El Rancho: Andrew Prieto, Steve Gomez, Rio Valdez. Pioneer: Angel Marquez, Jesus Garnica, Angel Paez, Glenn Ochoa, Ruben Robles. Santa Fe: Luis Castillo, Dan Alvarado, Matt Webb. Whittier: Chris Irizarry, Ernie Cauley, Ernest Escareno.

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Boys basketball: Cantwell wins Cardinal Classic

Hi should have this up earlier, but he’s the story of Cantwell winning its tournament on Saturday:

By John Sherrard, Correspondent
MONTEBELLO -
The Cantwell Sacred Heart High School boys basketball team is in uncharted territory these days.
Cantwell defeated Ocean View of Huntington Beach, 87-76, in overtime Saturday night in the championship game of the Cardinal Classic.
It is the first time the Cardinals have won their own tournament. They are off to a 9-0 start.
Sophomore guard Joe Covarrubias, who had 22 points, scored nine points in the extra period, including a 3-pointer to put the Cardinals up by six early. Ocean View was never able to recover.
“It (win) feels really good and it’s the first time we have won our own tournament,” Covarrubias said.

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Boys Soccer: La Serna starts fast, beats Whittier Christian, 4-0


Above: La Serna’s Efrain Hernandez (#11) battles Whittier Christian’s Jared Conlin (#3) for the ball in their non-league game at Whittier Christian High School. La Serna beat Whittier Christian 4-0. (Staff Photo by Keith Durflinger)

For all you soccer fans, here’s my story on Friday’s nonleague game between La Serna and Whittier Christian.

LA HABRA — The game plan was pretty simple for the La Serna High School boys soccer team Friday.
The Lancers wanted to start fast and finish strong, with the former making the difference against Whittier Christian.
Midfielder Misael Orduno and forward Tanner Rath each scored goals within the first 10 minutes and La Serna outshot the host Heralds 7-0 in that span en route to a 4-0 victory in a nonleague game.
La Serna, also getting goals from midfielders Francisco Saucedo and Sergio Pliego, improved to 3-0-2.
Whittier Christian, which received nine saves from goalie Dylan Murphy, slipped to 0-6-1.
“We decided to start off with a lot of high pressure,” said La Serna coach Jerrod Savala, whose Lancers outshot the Heralds 20-9, including 12-3 in the first half. “We kind of had the wind at our back during the first half. Teams like this we want to try and put a couple of goals in early and just play our game, which is a control game.
“You want to do that against any team. But (Friday), especially, with two games (today in a tournament), we wanted to get out to a good start and play a possession game after that.”
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La Mirada will play St. Francis in week 4 in 2012

The La Mirada football team, which advanced to the CIF-SS Southeast Division semifinals before losing to eventual champion West Covina, will face traditional power St. Francis in week four next season.
The Matadores schedule, which was one of the tougher ones in the area this season, will now have home games against St. Paul, Bishop Amat, and St. Francis.
“It’s cool and exciting to play quality teams,” La Mirada coach Mike Moschetti said. “It’s a great experience for our guys.”
La Mirada finished 8-5, winning eight of its last 10 games, and shared the Suburban League title with Mayfair and Bellflower.

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